Venom earned $10 million with Thursday previews, setting an October box office record and beating A Star Is Born.
The first film in Sony’s so-called Spider-Verse, Venom easily surpassed the previous previews record for an October release, set in 2011 with Paranormal Activity 3, which earned $8 million.
The film's early commercial success comes despite a lackluster critical reception. Venom has only 30 percent rating on the review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes. Still, it's seriously outperformed it’s primary weekend competition, Warner Bros.' A Star is Born. The music-based romantic drama starring Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper earned a still-impressive $4.5 million with Thursday previews.
Some of Lady Gaga’s fans, who refer to themselves as Little Monsters, have been accused of spreading fake reviews of Venom in an attempt to help propel A Star is Born to the top of the weekend box office. While the film may not win the box office battle, A Star Is Born sits at 93 percent on Rotten Tomatoes.
In theaters nationwide, director Ruben Fleischer’s Venom stars Tom Hardy, Michelle Williams, Riz Ahmed, Scott Haze, Reid Scott, Jenny Slate,Woody Harrelson, Sope Aluko, Scott Deckert, Marcella Bragio and Michelle Lee.